A man who dragged his disabled friend from a burning bedroom has told how the ‘intense’ blaze took hold in just a few minutes and later claimed his friend’s life.
Peter Dore, 68, died at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham after being taken by air ambulance from his home in Fen Lane, Long Bennington, on Saturday. Emergency services were called to the house at 1.35pm.
Barry Johnson, a friend of Mr Dore’s for 30 years, was doing some jobs at the house for him. He left him in his bed on the ground floor at the front of the house and got into his van to drive away when he noticed smoke coming from the front of the house.
Mr Johnson said: “Initially I thought it was a bonfire. But smoke was coming out of the windows. I ran back in and Pete had just got himself out of the bed. He was on his back on the floor but he was already very badly burned.”
Mr Johnson said the fire was “intense” when he got into the bedroom and the bed and area around it were already well alight.
He said: “It all happened in the space of five minutes. I was facing intense heat and a lot of black smoke. I could not see a thing. Pete was fully conscious and lucid until the paramedics got here and gave him a sedative. I dragged him to the kitchen and then we got him out into the garden.”
Mr Dore was said to be largley bedbound because of his disability.
Mr Johnson said he was surprised at how quickly the fire took hold. “Why should any NHS bed go up in flames that fast? You expect these things to be fire proof.”
Mr Johnson said two air ambulances arrived at the scene. and he himself was treated for minor burns.
Sean Taylor, of Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, said: “What took us by surprise was the extent of the fire when we arrived. It really was quite a ferocious fire.
“A neighbour had acted very bravely and entered the property in thick smoke and rescued the occupant, who we now know has tragically died.”
Police say there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the fire.
John Smith, who runs a garage in Fen Lane close to the house, said Mr Dore, who was married, used to get around in an electric wheelchair but he had not seen him for about a year. He said Mr Dore and his family used to run The Manor Hotel in Long Bennington which no longer exists.